become photo 5

Today we’re sharing one of our local music submissions from Prince Aki. Aki is currently a senior studying International Business and Japanese at the University of Illinois. He’s been posting Youtube covers for some time now but started writing and producing music his freshman year in college. His influences spread from Kanye West to Frank Ocean to Silversun Pickups and many others, but he insists that his love of poetry has pushed him towards rap and hip-hop styles. The name Prince Aki (“Aki” pronounced “ah-key” meaning “autumn” in Japanese), derived from his love of Japanese poetry, which often focuses on the fleeting feelings of autumn, in which “things have a way of dying beautifully.” In his first mixtape Become, he tries to capture that sense of impermanence but also the beauty that comes with it. See what else he has to say about the project and stream/download it below.

My first mixtape “become” was released this January. I recorded, produced, and mixed it myself. I chose the title “become” because I wrote these songs over the past couple years and wanted to reflect the sense of change, excitement, and nostalgia of college. More than anything, however, “become” represents the beginning of my new life in the world of music and art.

My take on Kanye’s “Runaway” deals with the feelings of lost love and numbness, while others such as “Zombie” deal with the inability to feel in a different light. “Death of Science” is about the struggle to believe in God when there’s only “science books and hope”.